Former Australian pacer Shane Lee is concerned about Steve Smith’s current mental health. He has warned Cricket Australia that the current situation might lead to another Sandpapergate scandal if Australia’s batting mainstay is not dealt with properly.
Steve Smith was under huge scrutiny after the video of him scuffing up the area around the batting crease on the fifth day of the Sydney Test against India went viral on social media. He was alleged of removing Rishabh Pant’s guard on Twitter. Some netizens have named him a ‘cheater’. Former England captain Michael Vaughan had even labelled the act as ‘poor’.
However, Smith’s captain Tim Paine had said that it was one of the mannerisms of his batsman. And, he had not done anything intentionally.
Shane Lee said that Smith had not done any cheating but admitted that he should have done that. But seeing the animated behavior of the unorthodox batsman after scoring the century in Sydney makes Lee worry about Smith’s behaviour. He has noted that Smith is angry like he was before the Test match against South Africa in Cape Town which saw Smith involving in tampering with the ball.
“He was not trying to cheat, but he should not be on the wicket. I am really, really concerned about some of our behaviour. Steve Smith scored a fantastic hundred in Sydney and the way he reacted afterward, I thought, there is a real danger there,” Shan Lee told Fox Cricket.
“It is disturbing…I m seeing the same signs as before Sandpapergate. I am seeing someone like Smith who is getting really, really angry.
I am feeling really worried about Steve Smith: Shane Lee
That Cape Town Test match led to the ban of Smith, Warner and Bancroft for one year by Cricket Australia. And Lee doesn’t want to witness any such incident again in Australia’s history. So, he has warned the board to support their players.
“I think that Smith, Warner and Bancroft should have been punished for what they did. It was appalling. But the way they were handled by Cricket Australia – the – they were given no support,” Shane Lee said.
“I am feeling really worried about this guy (Smith). I really want Cricket Australia, or someone within that organisation, to make sure this guy’s all right because he’s a champion batsman and he’s not a cheat. We really need to look after these guys from a mental-health perspective,” added Shane Lee.
The Sydney Test between India and Australia ended in a draw after Australia failed to pick five wickets on day five. The two teams will move to play the last and fourth match of the series in Brisbane, where the match will commence from January 15.